Mizzou Links, 5-16-08

Good things happen when you go 11-0.  Aaron Crow has been named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy (baseball's Heisman) and Roger Clemens Award (baseball's Davey O'Brien Award...soon to renamed).

Crow hopes move to 12-0 in what should be a gorgeous night at Simmons Field tonight.  Mutigers has a preview of this weekend's regular season finale against #4 Nebraska.

You know how the Cowboys got an insane number of all-pros even though they didn't actually win the NFC or the Super Bowl?  Well, guess that makes Mizzou the Dallas Cowboys of softball's Midwest Region.  Five Tigers were named to the All-Midwest Region team, as opposed to only two Texas A&M players (despite the fact that ATM lapped Mizzou in the standings this year).  Strange deal, but congrats to first-teamers OF Rhea Taylor, 1B Amanda Renth, 2B Andee Allen, and second-team pitchers Stacy Delaney and Jen Bruck.  Hope they can take home a win tonight in Iowa City.  The Missourian and Post-Dispatch preview the regional, while the Trib takes a look at the makeup of the Mizzou squad.

Like they have all season, when the Tigers (44-15) face Iowa (40-18) tomorrow night in Iowa City in NCAA regional play, four to five true freshmen will populate Earleywine’s lineup card, giving the coach another self-inflicted lesson on patience while simultaneously seeking a championship.

"It has been a really interesting challenge to get four or five freshmen to play top-25 softball right away," said Earleywine, whose team is the No. 2 seed at this weekend’s double-elimination regional.

...

[I]t’s the freshman core that makes Missouri unique. Led by Big 12 freshman of the year and All-America candidate Rhea Taylor, the team’s dynamic leadoff hitter and center fielder, MU’s freshmen have accounted for 39 percent of the team’s at-bats, collected 38 percent of its hits, scored 37 percent of its runs and gobbled up 31 percent of its total bases.

Taylor, the Big 12 leader in batting average, hits, runs and stolen bases, made her impact last fall after first arriving on campus.

"Rhea has been by far and away the one that’s been able to do it, and I think the lesson the others can learn from that is she was just an absolute sponge and trusted us from the beginning," Earleywine said. "I think sometimes freshmen come in with a hesitancy. ‘Hey, I was all-state in high school. You talking to me?’

" ‘Yeah, I am talking to you. Everyone on this team was all-state.’ So, those who listen and try to make the adjustments in the fall will have a better chance in the spring."

Finally, we end with some football recruiting blurbs.  Pennsylvania WR Jaleel Clark really likes the Tigers and will be making a visit to Como over the summer, while Hazelwood East lineman Darris Ford has some new video up.

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